paulflexes saidWow, I sure hope like fuck that's not what I have to go through. That would mean losing my entire career.
You might get relief with traction, possibly spine manipulation, and other approaches, some mentioned above. Only a specialist can tell you for sure how serious & permanent this is. I realize as a pilot the FAA limits what kinds of pain relievers and other meds you can take. Over-the-counter ibuprofen works best for me, with occasional heat as I wrote above.
My last procedure was in early 1997, and the doctors said I had to give-up motorcycling. They claimed an accident could leave me paralyzed. So I sold my bike. Then promptly went nuts, because that was MY life, if not career.
After a few months I'd had enough. During a vacation down here to Fort Lauderdale I bought a new bike, and promptly rode it solo back to my home in Seattle, 4700 miles. Less than a month later I did 5000 miles through Canada on it. I simply refused to be crippled like that. I taught myself how to recognize the early signs of back trouble, how to otherwise baby it, and walk with a cane (that you've seen).
It's also helped that I seem to get some unintended back relief from one of my epilepsy meds, I think the main reason I'm doing so relatively well all these years later. But I don't know if a doctor would prescribe this non-approved med use in your case, nor if an epilepsy med would raise eyebrows with the FAA.
Consider the heat therapy I mentioned above, and lie flat on your back on your bed. BTW, what's the condition of your mattress? My back is very sensitive to the mattress I use, and a worn one kills me.